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By Mike Johnson on 2013-01-27 19:21:40
Welcome to's live, ongoing WWE Royal Rumble coverage from Phoenix, Arizona.

Pre-Game Show:

Matt Striker and Tony Dawson are the hosts. They reviewed tonight's PPV card.

Josh Mathews interviewed Big Show backstage about his Last Man Standing bout against WWE World champion Alberto Del Rio. They showed clips of how Del Rio won the belt on Smackdown a few weeks back. Show was upset looking at the footage and asked Mathews why he was showing that and not when Show buried Del Rio on Friday. He said that Alberto hit the lottery when he won the belt, but that doesn't mean he has what it takes to beat Show twice.

At that point, the feed crashed on both my iPad and Youtube. That's the first time that's happened to a WWE pre-game show feed. There are 51,000 people trying to watch it live as I post this, by the way, far more than usual. Interest is up folks!

The feed returned with a video feature on the Rumble match. It's the annual video of different stats.

WWE United States champion Antonio Cesaro vs. The Miz

Big pop for Miz. They showed the clips of Miz having the figure four passed on to him on Raw by Ric Flair. The announcers pushed it as a tribute to Flair.

They locked up and exchanged standing headlocks. Cesaro shoulderblocked Miz down but Miz caught him with a small package for a two count.

Miz worked over Cesaro with a side headlock on the mat. Cesaro backed Miz up into the ropes and used a shot to the mid-section to wear him down. He used a tilowhirl backbreaker and cinched in a surfboard variation to wear Miz down.

Miz fought back with several rights but was caught with a sitdown slam while he was rebounding off the ropes. Cesaro peppered Miz with uppercuts.

Cesaro continued to work over Miz, garnering several two counts. Miz fired back and went back and forth with Cesaro. Miz got the better of him and hit the running clothesline in the corner. Dawson actually said, "What a maneuver!"

Miz covered Cesaro, who kicked out at the last second. Miz hurt his ankle. Cesaro took him down and tried pin Miz with his feet on the ropes but was caught. He argued with the ref but was rolled up for a two count.

Miz went for the figure four but Cesaro escaped and went to the floor. Miz went to grab him but was pulled into the ring apron. Cesaro rolled him in, hit the Neutralizer and scored the pin.

Your winner and still U.S. champion, Antonio Cesaro.

Decent but short match.

They pushed CM Punk vs. The Rock to close out the pre-game show.


WWE World champion Alberto Del Rio vs. Big Show - Last Man Standing

Backstage, Del Rio was walking with Ricardo when they encountered WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart.  Hart wished him good luck but said Big Show is as big and bad as they come.  He said he knows what it's like to be World champion and said Del Rio reminds him of a Mexican Bret Hart.  Alberto thanked him and said Bret reminds him of a Canadian Alberto.  Ricardo gushed over Bret, who gave him a pair of Hart sunglasses.

When the bell rang, Show went right after Alberto and chopped him hard in the chest.  Del Rio fired back with several kicks but was wiped out.   Show slammed Alberto but was kicked away during a charge into the corner.  Del Rio came off the buckles but Show laid him out in mid-air.  Show drilled him with a back splash but was nailed with a low dropkick,  Del Rio nailed him with a kick, followed by a superkick. 

Show shrugged it off and went for a powerbomb but Alberto turned it into a rana.  Del Rio came off the ropes with a leaping enziguiri.   He then nailed another in the corner.  He went for the cross armbreaker but Show lifted him up mid-attempt and slammed him down.   Del Rio went to the outside, where Show chopped him hard.  He rolled the champion back into the ring, then grabbed a chair from ringside.  Del Rio nailed Show before he could use it and peppered Show with a series of shots across the back.

Del Rio went to the top with the chair but was caught and chokeslammed on the way down.  The referee began counting.  Del Rio rolled to the outside, where Show slammed him on the floor.  Show dragged Alberto to the aisle but was kicked low and then kicked in the head.  The ref began counting Show out.   Show barely made it up and was kicked off by Show.  They battled towards the entrance staging.

Show whipped Del Rio into a hanging metal piece of the stage and then ripped a piece of fluorescent light tubes from it.  He nailed Alberto with it twice, shattering it the second time.  Show pulled a table over towards the set piece.  He climbed up and then pulled Alberto up with one arm.  They battled on top of the swinging piece and gave Del Rio a nasty looking chokeslam through the table.  Del Rio's trajectory going down was crazy.  Alberto pulled himself up at nine to break the count, then collapsed again.  Show was stunned he even got up at all.

Show dragged the champion back to the ring and signaled for the KO punch.  Alberto saw it coming and rolled back out of the ring.    Show grabbed the top of the steel ring steps and threw them at Del Rio, who ducked.  They hit the ringpost.  Ricardo nailed Show and was wiped out.   Show charged the champ, who moved out of the way.  Show wiped out the area where the timekeeper and ring announcers sit.    Show recovered at seven but was beaten with a chair over the back again and again.

Del Rio placed Show's KO hand on the ring steps and smashed it with a chair, then shot him with a fire extinguisher.  Show was trapped in the cross armbreaker as Ricardo duct-taped Show's feet to the bottom ropes.  Lying, cheating and stealing?  Alberto let go and Show, hurt, was unable to get to his feet since he was trapped.

Your winner and still World champion, Alberto Del Rio!

Really good match that told a good story and had some fun plunder.  I never thought I'd see the day where WWE uses light tubes.  I thought the finish was a little hokey but the work from both men was really good and from a storyline standpoint, it gives Show a reason to demand a rematch.  I would have preferred something clean, but that's just me. 

Matt Striker interviewed Dolph Ziggler.  He said that Vickie Guerrero is bitter and jaded.  He said he was choosing number one because that's exactly what he is.  Striker tried to tell him how long the odds were for him but AJ Lee cut him off and questioned him for saying "her Ziggy" not being able to do it and warned him to leave.  Langston then began interviewing Ziggler like an old school sports reporter.  Ziggler said he was going to break the record for longest lasting talent in the Rumble, win, cash in his Money in the Bank and become World champion, then win the WWE title and unify the belts at Wrestlemania.

The announcers sent it to a video feature where Rumble competitors cut promos about the match.  Antonio Cesaro said he was going to be the latest non-American to win the Rumble, except he was better than Edge or Del Rio.   The Prime Time Players had a funny promo.  Randy Orton said tonight was his night.  He said he needed the win and was gong to take it.  John Cena cut a promo saying that he has a target on his back but at the end of the night, everyone will see the champ is here.  Wade Barrett said he was going to bring prestige to the Rumble just like he did the IC strap.  Sheamus said he was going to use the Brogue Kick to win back to back Rumbles.   Ryback said that every 90 seconds, another man hits the ring and said, "Feed me more."  Good package and it did more to sell the Rumble match than the segment that closed Raw this week!

WWE Tag Team champions Daniel Bryan & Kane vs. Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow.

Cody and Bryan started out and went back and forth with some good back and forth exchanges.  Bryan dropkicked Cody and then locked him into a bow and arrow.   Kane tagged in and drilled Rhodes with a series of punches but was caught with a dropkick.  Kane was backed into the challenger's corner and worked over.  Kane fought his way out and nailed an elbow on Sandow before tagging Rhodes back in.  Sandow's facial expressions are just so great.

Bryan drilled him with a series of kicks to the chest, followed by one of the head and a series of several more in the corner.   Sandow went to the floor.  Rhodes checked on him,  Bryan hit a suicide dive through the ropes on both.  Rhodes pulled the ropes down on Bryan as he rebounded and he crashed to the floor.  Sandow drilled him into the apron and rolled him into the ring.  Rhodes beat Bryan down and cinched in a single leg Boston Crab.  Sandow and Rhodes worked over Bryan until he nailed Rhodes with a kick.  Sandow cut Bryan off.  Rhodes locked in an over the shoulder backbreaker.

Bryan tried to leap to make a tag to Kane but was caught by Rhodes.  Bryan turned it into a DDT and tagged Kane.  Kane went for a chokeslam on Sandow, who slipped out and ate a right hand instead.  Kane nailed Rhodes and hit a side slam on Sandow for a two count.    Sandow fought back but was caught for a chokeslam,  Rhodes attacked Kane.  Bryan made a blind tag and hit a missile dropkick on Sandow.   He then sent Cody into a Kane chokeslam.  Bryan locked in the No Lock and Sandow tapped.

Your winners and still WWE Tag Team champions, Daniel Bryan and Kane!

Another good match.  Some nice back and forth wrestling here.  I would have loved a little more time but you have got to save it for the Rumble.

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